How to Teach Your Child To Take Better Care of Their Teeth

22nd August 2017

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By Lucy Wyndham from R+R Dental

Tooth decay remains one of the biggest health concerns among kids in the United Kingdom. According to recent statistics, a third of all children starting school have signs of tooth decay. Moreover, tooth extractions are the leading reason children are admitted to hospital for general anaesthetics in the UK.

The decline of children’s oral health in the country has been a massive cause of concern among the members of the British Medical Association. They are urging the government to introduce warnings on the packaging of sugary food. Similar to how the graphic warnings on cigarette packets are aimed at smokers, the warnings on sugary food will be geared towards children and their parents in the hopes of encouraging them to make healthier food and drink choices. While the BMA is doing its best to help young ones all over the UK, you too can do your part by teaching your child how to take better care of their teeth.

Teach your child the right way to brush his teeth

When brushing their teeth, most kids do a few half-hearted swipes with their toothbrush before rinsing their mouth. But it’s crucial to teach your child the right way to brush his teeth to get rid of cavity causing bacteria. It is recommended that children should brush their teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, after breakfast and before bedtime. They should brush their teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride, using a pea-sized amount every time they brush.

Let your child face a mirror while brushing their teeth. You can also guide their hand so they can feel the correct movement. Better yet, let your child watch you while you’re brushing so they can learn the right way to do it. And while they should spit out the toothpaste, make sure they don’t over rinse so they can still benefit from the fluoride in the toothpaste.

Listen to music or watch a video while brushing

To get your child to brush their teeth for the whole two minutes, try playing a special song that they can brush their teeth to that’s approximately two minutes long. You can also use your phone or your tablet to let your child watch a two-minute tooth brushing video for kids.

Use disclosing tablets

Once in a while, use disclosing tablets to make brushing fun for your child. Disclosing tablets temporarily stain your child’s teeth where they haven’t brushed away the plaque. Seeing the stains will hopefully encourage your child to brush their teeth as well as possible.

Don’t keep sugary drinks in the house

Fizzy drinks and packaged juiced drinks contain large amounts of sugar and acids that erode the outer surface of the tooth. It’s best not to keep sugary drinks in the house so your child won’t get used to consuming them. Instead, make sure that you have milk and drinking water at home. If your child wants a bit of flavour in their drink, pop some fruit slices in the water for some added fruity flavour.

Alongside following these tips, it’s important that you take your child for regular dental check-ups to keep their teeth strong and healthy. Teaching your child to take good care of their teeth is key to preventing tooth decay and helps them avoid dental problems in the future.

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